Mind the Gap: The Relationship Between Socioeconomic Status and Educational Outcomes: A Literature Review

Maggie Loesch
2018 Maneto Undergraduate Research Journal  
In The United States of America, higher education is seen as the beacon of social mobility. If one is born without access to wealth, power, or prestige, which are all increasingly interconnected, they are encouraged to change their circumstances by working hard in school and getting a degree, thus giving them higher earning power. This narrative is the one the middle and upper class public thinks is happening; the one lived by low-income people is drastically different. There are many
more » ... are many contributing factors to differing outcomes in higher education for people from different socioeconomic backgrounds: biased standardized test questions, access to test prep programs, primary and secondary school quality, and even pre-natal conditions, to name a few. Students' socioeconomic backgrounds correlate with educational attainment and outcomes of students; these influence students' future earning power and socioeconomic status, which then directly and indirectly influences the outcomes of their children. Thus, the widening income gap is directly related to the post-secondary achievement gap and creates a self-perpetuating cycle of socioeconomic inequity. This paper addresses the inequality of the American education system, with a specific focus on higher education attainment.
doi:10.15367/m:turj.v1i1.79 fatcat:daftjrr2qnfnnaiqx7d3yoewna